PM’s India visit: Follow-up on deals high on agendaImplementation of past pacts and several pending bilateral issues is expected to figure prominently during Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s upcoming visit to India along with discussions on strengthening bilateral ties, according to officials.
Implementation of past pacts and several pending bilateral issues is expected to figure prominently during Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s upcoming visit to India along with discussions on strengthening bilateral ties, according to officials.
Prime Minister Deuba will begin his five-day visit to the southern neighbour on August 23, his first foreign trip after being elected the prime minister a fourth time two months ago.
Officials involved in preparing the agenda for the visit said several bilateral issues which have been stuck at the bureaucratic level will be raised at the top political level.
“PM Deuba has shown interest in implementation of past pacts between the two countries, and we are working in the same spirit,” said officials. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in consultation with various ministries to solicit their views before finalising the agenda while the Prime Minister’s Office is working on the political agenda.
“We are working to finalise the agenda. Inter-ministerial consultations are underway for the purpose,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign affairs adviser to PM Deuba.
This is the third visit by Nepal’s PM in the past 11 months. Pushpa Kamal Dahal visited India in September and also in October last year. Despite regular consultations at various levels, a number of key issues will be followed up on during Deuba’s visit.
In his talks with the Indian leadership, PM Deuba will take up the issue of demonetised Indian currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1000 denominations held by Nepalis.
Despite several rounds of talks at the bureaucratic level, there has been no progress about exchanging the old notes in Nepal.
Finalisation of a joint detailed project report for the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project is also high on the agenda. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already suggested that some “outstanding issues of project” need to be resolved at the top political level.
As Deuba signed the Mahakali Treaty in 1996, observers say, it is another opportunity for the prime minister to convince the Indian leadership to implement the Pancheshwar project.
Issues on the table
Political intervention to resolve some outstanding issues of Pancheshwar DPR
Nepal’s hassle-free access to India’s power exchange market
Implementation of energy bank proposed by Nepal
More cross-border transmission lines
Inundation of Nepali villages and towns due to border side construction works in India
Resolving export issues and curbing trade deficit
Exchange of demonetised currency notes
Permission for Nepali LPG bullets
More air routes from Janakpur, Nepalgunj and Mahendranagar
Purchase of defence hardware for Nepal Army, revisiting current arrangements
Irrigation facilities for Nepal under Gandak agreement
Nepal Police academy
Construction of an LPG pipeline